Friday, September 28, 2007

FSSP led Pilgrimage: Notre-Dame du Cap, Québec [UPDATED]

The FSSP now have photos up of their Pilgrimage to Notre-Dame du Cap in Québec, which took place earlier this month from September 1-3.

A few select photos and a commentary to follow the photos.

It is encouraging to me, as a Catholic within Canada, to see these sorts of youthful and traditional events taking place within Quebec specifically -- along with Cardinal Oullet himself and introduction of the FSSP into a Quebec City parish.

Some might wonder why this would be of particular interest to me. One must understand that Quebec was formerly staunchly Catholic and then underwent a "quiet revolution" in the 1960's where anti-clericalism, secularism and liberalism reigned -- something still very much in effect today from all accounts. As such, as someone wittingly remarked, Mark Twain's sentiment upon visiting the city of Montreal in 1881 that "[t]his is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window" (speaking of the multitudes of Catholic churches in the city) could be appended in our day to further state that one, however, couldn't throw a brick and hit a practicing Catholic.

As such, while not overstating the case (it is after all but one pilgrimage, one parish and one Cardinal), and despite what some in Quebec have recently said in response to the Motu Proprio this is certainly a "green shoot" of life, and a youthful one at that.

One is hopeful that this youthful exuberance will be contagious and bring about a revival of Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Of course, one might point to the article linked to above in The Montreal Gazette and suggest the contrary. There is little doubt that many wouldn't be interested, particularly given the context of the past 40 years within Quebec (in which I also would raise the matter of language issues and the preservation of the French language within Quebec), but two points are worth noting.

One is that reception of the Motu Proprio within Canada has been one of a deafening silence. Unlike their confreres in other parts of the world, most Canadian bishops and dioceses seem to have fallen silent on the topic of the motu proprio -- my own diocese has mentioned nary a word. As such, one wonders how well and truly interest can be gauged?

Second, that being said the divide between continuity and rupture is a real divide, and so there will be some whom will persist in a rejection of tradition (as opposed to a simple preference with an otherwise open attitude). But what is encouraging is that openness, and not simply openness but also active interest, can be seen in the young faithful and families we see here. Therein lay great hope and what might be the first infancy of a Catholic Revival in Quebec.

Let us pray for the intercession of Notre Dam du Cap that it might be so.

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